Art Aids Healing for Heart Patients through Partnership of Memorial Hermann and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
HOUSTON, TX (September06,
According to a study conducted at Uppsala Hospital in Sweden, heart surgery patients exposed to soothing landscape paintings experienced less anxiety and needed fewer doses of strong pain medication than those in a control group with no art therapy.
Distant View of the Mansfield Mountain, Vermont
As a result, Memorial Hermann and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston have created the "Art of Heart" program, a partnership to provide heart patients with masterpieces at the beside during their hospital stays. Each patient may select a landscape painting from the museum's collection. An 8" x 10" print of the chosen artwork is placed at the bedside and taken home upon discharge.
The images are used in various printed materials including patient journals, informational brochures and note cards. The MFAH also gives patients free museum tickets so they can view the original masterworks when they recover. Their families receive discounts for visiting the museum while their loved ones are hospitalized.
"We are very grateful to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for making these masterpieces available to us," said Karen Haney, system executive of customer relationship management for the Memorial Hermann system. "We employ a holistic approach to the healing experience. These selected images provide a soothing point of focus for patients."
"Throughout history, art has been a source of inspiration for many cultures, and the new evidence pointing to the healing power of art is a testament to why institutions like the MFAH are essential to a enriching life," said Andrew Huang, the museum's associate director of marketing and public relations. "This is a great example of collaboration between a cultural institution like the MFHA and a top health care provider like Memorial Hermann."
Paintings featured in the Art of Heart program are Claude Monet's "Water Lilies (Nymphéas)"; William Merrit Chase's "Sunlight and Shadow, Shinnecock Hills"; John Frederick Kensett's "Distant View of the Mansfield Mountain, Vermont"; and Paul Signac's "The Bonaventure Pine."
The art initiative is part of a broader program designed to provide exceptional experiences to Memorial Hermann patients and their families. Other elements include an interactive Internet portal, origami kits to provide a creative activity in family waiting areas, and designate staff and volunteers who provide assistance and who keep patients, physicians and family members in the loop.
"Researchers interviewed more than 100 of our heart patients and their families, and we learned that what they wanted most was to be educated and informed," Haney explained. "We piloted this program beginning last year at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Memorial City, and since then our patient satisfaction scores have soared."
The program is also available at Memorial Hermann's Northwest and The Woodlands campuses and is slated to expand this year to the system's Southwest and Texas Medical Center Heart & Vascular Institutes.
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